March 7th, 2009
03:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Barbara Bush moves out of ICU

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Former first lady Barbara Bush was moved from ICU Saturday after undergoing heart surgery."]
(CNN) - Former first lady Barbara Bush was moved Saturday out of intensive care after undergoing heart surgery earlier this week, the former president's spokeswoman said.

Jean Becker, a spokeswoman for former President George H.W. Bush, said the former first lady would be in the hospital for about another week.

Doctors at Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, Texas, performed a 2 1/2-hour surgery on Barbara Bush on Wednesday, and replaced her aortic valve with a pig valve.

"From our perspective, this was a very routine procedure, and we expect her to make an excellent recovery," Dr. Gerald Lawrie told reporters on Thursday.

Bush had experienced "severe narrowing of the main valve that lets the blood come out of the heart into the circulation," Lawrie said.

He said an echocardiogram showed her condition was "extremely severe." Typical symptoms of problems with an aortic valve include shortness of breath,
fatigue, weakness and swelling, he said.

Though his patient is 83, "she's a very fit lady," which helped make the operation a "relatively straightforward" procedure," he said.

Barbara Bush had been diagnosed with the problem less than a week before the surgery. Becker said the former president was visiting his wife Saturday at
the hospital.

Barbara Bush has forbidden her children, which include former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, from visiting until she leaves
the hospital, Becker said.

George H.W. Bush visited her shortly after the operation, saying "I've been a nervous wreck about it."

The former politician said he had received telephone calls of support from President Barack Obama and from surviving former presidents.

Asked to describe what occurred between the two when he saw her, he said, "I don't remember any words. I'm not the anecdotal one in the family. It was
just a reunion of two people who love each other."

Afterward, the former president turned to a hospital administrator and said, "I'm sorry I get emotional, but I can't help it."

Filed under: Barbara Bush • Popular Posts
soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. kgh

    It's ironic that she is leaving intensive care given her son, as president, but this entire nation (and arguably, the world) in intensive care.

    March 7, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Franky

    Is good to know that she's doing fine. Hopefully she can have a good and speedy recovery, I wish her the best for her and family.

    March 7, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. Pat

    K Roberts March 7th, 2009 11:27 am ET
    Lucky Barbara Bush to have the money and the health insurance to have that kind of care. Think of all the Americans who don't get any medical care!

    FYI, under universal healthcare, ANYONE Mrs. Bush's age would likely not even GET this surgery. Countries with universal healthcare stringently RATION healthcare for the elderly. In fact, the average elderly would probably already have died before he/she had been given access to the type of diagnostics that pointed to her coronary problems.

    March 7, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Sandra Rose

    May God Bless Barbara Bush

    March 7, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Amy

    At least she didn't have to wait 6 months to a year for an elective procedure as she would have in many socialisit medical care states. To all of the haters, be glad we have the kind of health care that makes this possible.

    March 7, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Bayousara

    Nice lady. Sorry she is ill.

    This story is NOT political news folks.

    March 7, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Richmond, VA

    If Mrs. Bush had the health insurance Obama is promoting, she would be rotting in the ground. How sad that Obama has vowed that his health care plan will reflect Tom Daschle's handiwork. Daschle doesn't think its always "cost effective" to treat the elderly.

    March 7, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. jeff from jersey

    I'm glad for her.I've had 18 heart surgeries including 3 open heart surgeries and I'm grateful that I had medicare and a medi-gap supplement to pay for them or I would have died 20 years ago.It's sad to think how many people in America have to die every day because they can't afford healthcare and don't qualify for medicare.

    I'm also glad that Barbara told George W. not to come visit as "this is not a place for children no matter how old they are".Too bad she didn't tell him the same thing about the whitehouse.

    March 7, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Mel

    Mrs.Bush I pray for you to continue to improve and return to all the things you love to do.Also Mr Bush you are so sweet and still so in love with your wife.I will pray that both of you have many years of enjoying each others company.Good heath and happiness in the future.................God bless...........Mel

    March 7, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Eric

    Best wishes to Mrs. Bush.

    March 7, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Dumas McGee

    Andy, gary gpp and K Roberts

    welcome to the US Gov Hate Crime watch list

    March 7, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. texas

    wishing you the best health , take care

    March 7, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. old Democrat.....

    I share her age, not her fame. My wish for a speedy recovery, Babs.
    Not one of my favorite women in history.

    March 7, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Republican

    CNN, why do you censor comments that point out what health care is going to be like for the elderly under Obama's plan? Why should we try to hide that Dashchle thinks age should be a factor considered when determining which treatments are "cost effective" and that Obama has vowed his plan will reflect Daschle's handiwork?

    The elderly in this country are about to be screwed by Obama so he can give more handouts to all the freeloaders that helped to elect him.

    March 7, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Marie R

    Get well soon Mrs. Bush I wish you a speedy recovery

    March 7, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. chuck


    March 7, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Little too late????

    Andy...yer an idiot.

    How do you think Uncle Ted Kennedy made it through? Strokes, brain tumor and all the other health issues he has. OH, wait...HE is a DemacRAT and CAN get away with murder...literally. When you are independantly wealthy, you got health care...and really good lawyers.

    Bill 'I did not have...' many heart issues, knee issues and surgeries? No wait...he was the legacy of the original messiah (JFK) and is untouchable. One good book deal (...and some Chinese, Saudi and UAE investing...) and health care is not an issue...and also having really good lawyers. '

    BO and MO will get old some day, too. Their bodies will start to succome to age and the world will bend over backwards to save the messiah and his princess. Im quite sure their life after politics (shortly, we can all hope...) will be as comfortable as the Bush's, Clinton's and Kennedy's.

    Mrs Bush is a good woman and deserves our respect, thoughts and prayers.

    March 7, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Dave Froyalde/Washington

    Wishing you speedy recovery Mrs. Bush. You are a nice and ideal first lady. May God continue to give you good health for many years.

    March 7, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. once upon a horse

    I admit she happens to be my favorite Bush, Godspeed Mrs. Bush, GOODPEED!

    March 7, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Marge

    I am so glad she is doing well. But just think, if everyone could have such excellent medical care how nice it would be.


    March 7, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Letcommonsenseprevail

    Even though this won't get posted, I'd like to weigh in with this little thought.

    She is the spouse of a former president. A former federal employee to be technical. She is entitled to health care as are all of us who are fedeal employees. Further, her family has money as do most politicians, including our current president. Dare I mention the millions of dollars Miss Health Care herself, Hillary, wipes her butt with everyday? Let's not be too bitter about Mrs Bush receiving good health care, it's her entitlement as the spouse of a former federal employee and she can afford it because ALL politicians get rich off of our money, not just Republicans.

    March 7, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Cheryl Tx

    May God BlessYou and your Family!!!

    March 7, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Peter

    Anybody who brings political opinion on this story is truly a sick person. I hope the best for Mrs. Bush and if your going to complain about politics go to hell

    March 7, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Texas Proud!

    God bless you Mrs. Bush and your family. Our family prays for your speedy recovery.

    March 7, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. JayEm

    To the folks who know so much about health care and Barbara
    Bush's circumstances, I believe you would all gripe if you were hung with a new rope. The Bush's are not indigent. The people who need
    help may or may not get it under Obama's health care reform, but
    it cannot be any worse than it is now. If you had your Medicaid coverage in Florida, you know that. The people who aren't covered
    by Medicare and Medicaid are the ones who are getting stiffed.

    March 7, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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